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Early History of the 
North Carolina Medical Society 


Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2011 with funding from 

North Carolina History of Health Digital Collection, an LSTA-funded NC ECHO digitization grant project 

Dr. Henry Theodore Bahxson. 



-r^j^. ,i*1 

John Wesley Long, M.D., Gbeensbobo, N. C. 

Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen: 

If you will indulge me in a word of explanation I will take you 
into my confidence. However, I shall endeavor not to impose personal 
matters upon you except in that they relate to the subject in hand. 

I became interested in the history of the North Carolina Medical 
Society while writing the Presidential Address for the Southern Surgical 
Association, which address was largely historic in character. 

The preparation of the present lecture has, much to my surprise, 
proved to be the biggest piece of literary work I have ever undertaken. 
I began the study two years ago and have devoted to it every moment 
since that time that I could spare from a rather busy professional life. 
The work has entailed an enormous correspondence necessitating the 
service of a special stenographer, besides the work my regular secretary 
has done. 

The physicians of the State have been very responsive. While in 
a few instances I have had to write several times before getting a reply, 
and occasionally telegraph or use the long distance phone, most of them 
have responded promptly. Without their cooperation I could never 
have gathered so much valuable material in the way of historical data 
and illustrations. Especial thanks are due my lifelong friend, the la- 
mented Dr. Henry T. Bahnson, whose recent death we all mourn. Dr. 
Bahnson was the oldest living President in point of -service. Since the last 
shall be first, I ask the privilege to show his picture to begin with. Dr. 
Bahnson had oneof the very few complete files (Bahnson's set lacks 1S61) 
of the Transactions from which he magnanimously loaned me the 
earlier volumes, which are so scarce. Dr. Bahnson's picture should be 
placed in the Hall of Fame. Peace be to his ashes. After much labor 
and considerable expense I have accumulated almost a complete set of 
my own. 

It was my purpose at first to embellish the lecture with a lantern slide 
of every man who had ever held office in the Society and many others. 
But remembering the old saying, which by the way is not true, that 
"there is no good Indian but a dead Indian," I decided to eliminate 

"An address delivered before the Surty-fourth Annual Meeting of the North Carolina Medical 
Society. Asheville. N. C, April, 1917. 

T" 2 

"-*+« 6829 



the living ; not because of their Indian blood, but largely because of the 
innate modesty of the typical North Carolina medical office holder. 

As the work progressed such a large amount of material accumulated 
that it became quite plain it could not all be judiciously handled in one 
lecture without overtaxing the patience of even the most patient audi- 
ence. Therefore, we will study tonight only the 

Early History of the North Carolina Medical Society. 

For convenience we will divide the subject into two periods. The first 
embraces the years 1799-1804. 

Perhaps few in this audience know that there was a North Carolina 
Medical Society antedating the present organization by fifty years. In- 
deed, Dr. Thomas F. Wood says there is a rare book in the library of 
the late Governor Clark, by Joseph Pignatius, which contains a refer- 
ence to a still earlier Society. 



The following are quotations from the Raleigh Register : 

November 12, 1799: 

It is contemplated by several Gentlemen of the Faculty, in the State, to 
form themselves into a Medical Society, and that they intend to convene 
for that purpose in this city some time in the month of December. 

December 10, 1799: 

Dr. Calvin Jones, "Secretary of Correspondence," published a notice that 
the Medical Society would hold its meeting in Raleigh December 16, 1799. 

December 17, 1799: 

The Medical Society met this day when Dr. (Jason) Hand was appointed 
to the Chair, and the Society proceeded to business. 



Law3 of North Carolina, 1799. Chapter XXXVIII. 

I. Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of North Carolina, 
and it is hereby enacted by the authority of the same: That the physicians 
who have associated themselves together, forming a medical society, be in- 
corporated by the name and title of the North Carolina Medical Society; 
by which name the society shall have perpetual succession and a common 
seal and be entitled to sue and be sued, and possess all the other rights and 
privileges usually vested in corporated bodies, and have a right to hold 
and possess in their own right, any estate, real or personal, the said society 
may acquire. 

II. And be it further enacted: That the said society shall have it in their 
power to enact by-laws for their own regulation and government, which laws 


shall be binding on all its present members, and any member or members 
who shall be hereafter admitted. 

This charter was granted by the Legislature of North Carolina on 
December 23, 1799. 


On Monday, the 16th of April, 1S00, a convention of the faculty was held 
in the city of Raleigh, affociated under a conftitution and form of government 
by the name of the "North-Carolina Medical Society"; and the following 
gentlemen were elected officers for the enfuing year: 

Richard Fenner, Prefldent. 

Nathaniel Loomis, John Claiborne, Vice-Prefidents. 

Sterling Wheaton, James Webb, James John Pafteur, Jafon Hand, Censors. 

Calvin Jones, Corresponding Secretary. 

William B. Hill. Recording Secretary. 

Cargill Maffenburg, Treafurer. 

The following gentlemen were appointed to deliver differtations on fome 
medical fubject at the next meeting of the Society, viz. J. J. Pafteur, J. Webb, 
S. Wheaton and N. Loomis. 

This slide and the next one were taken verbatim et literatim from the 
Medical Repository and Review of American Publications on Medicine, 
Surgery and the Auxiliary Branches of Philosophy, by Samuel L. 
Mitchell, M. D., F. R. S. E., and Edward Miller, M. D., Vol. TV., New 
York, 1801, page 202. 

Note that the Repository gives the date of this meeting as April 16, 
1S00, while the Raleigh Register published a list of the same officers on 
December 24, 1799, and states further that the Society adjourned with 
a resolution to hold its next annual meeting in Raleigh, December 1, 
1800. I leave the settlement of this question to wiser historians than I. 


An effay on the Symptoms, Nature and Cure of the Dyfentery, was made a 
prize fubject for any medical gentlemen practifing in this State, at the next 
annual meeting, which will be held on the firft day of December next. The 
prize differtation muft have annexed to it fome cypher or emblem to identify 
the author, enclofed and fealed, which will be burnt if it fhould not be 
accounted worthy of the prize. The fealed enclofure to be broken open in 
the pretence of the Society. 

From the early patronage of the Legiflature towards this firft fcientific 
Society of the State (having, at their prefent feffion paffed an act for incor- 
porating it), and from the zeal and enterprife of the gentlemen who compote 
it, we truft it will prove a Society of the firft refpectability and ufefulneff. — ■ 
Medical Repository, Vol. IV, New York, 1801, page 202. 

It is gratifying to learn that the gentlemen who composed the Society 
desired to be "of the first respectability and usefulness." 



Second Annual Meeting, Raleigh, December 1, 1800. 

Dr. Richard Fenner, President; Dr. Sterling Wheaton, Secretary. 

Charles Smith passed a successful examination before the Board of Censors. 

The Society divided the State into Medical Districts. 

It urged that frequent periodical District Meetings be held. 

I show this picture on the screen for two reasons : 

First, that we may see where our Board of Medical Examiners origi- 
nated, not only our Board of Examiners but that of all the other States. 
You are aware of the fact that North Carolina inaugurated the present 
Board of Medical Examiners in 1859, and that she was the first State 
in the Union to establish such a Board. The original North Carolina 
State Medical Society elected a Board of Censors at its first meeting 
in 1799. At its second meeting in 1800 Charles Smith passed a success- 
ful examination before the Board. It was the function of that Board 
of Censors, as it is now the function of the Board of Medical Examiners, 
to determine who are fitted to practice medicine. 

Charles Smith was the first physician on record who was subjected to 
the ordeal of an examination before the Board. I saw a tablet in 
Westminster Abbey which was placed there to the honor of the first man 
who carried an umbrella. Charles Smith should have a monument. 

The second reason for showing this slide is that when in 1902 the 
American Medical Association adopted and urged upon the State Medi- 
cal Societies the plan of dividing the States into medical districts, every 
one applauded the wisdom of the American Medical Association. 

This picture reveals the fact that our own professional forefathers 
had more than a century before inaugurated the same system. 

The first President of the North Carolina Medical Society (1799- 
1800) was Dr. Richard Fenner. Fenner was the son of Robert Fenner 
and Lady Ann Codington of Ireland. While Richard was quite a child 
the family immigrated to New Bern, North Carolina. Richard espoused 
the cause of the Colonies and became a Lieutenant in the Second Regi- 
ment of North Carolina Continental Infantry. After the Revolution 
he graduated in medicine and located in Raleigh. In 1823 the family 
(Dr. Fenner had eleven children) moved to Madison County, Tennessee. 
This was the year the Monroe doctrine was promulgated. 

After diligent search I have been unable to find a picture of Dr. 
Fenner, but through the courtesy of my friend, Dr. Jere Crook, of 
Jackson, Tennessee, I secured a photograph of his grave, which I 
thought would interest you because of its historic association. 



Second Annual Meeting, Raleigh, December 1, 1801. 

Dr. John C. Osborne, President; Dr. Sterling Wheaton, Secretary. 

Dr. Thomas Mitchell and Dr. Richard Fenner, Vice-Presidents. 

Dr. James Webb and Dr. John Sibley, Censors. 

Dr. Calvin Jones, Corresponding Secretary. 

Dr. Cargill Massenburg, Treasurer. 

The Society held a three-day session. 

The Raleigh Register says that "A considerable number of respectable 
Physicians from various parts of the State were present." 

Presidential address: "A cursory narrative of the progress of the science 
of Medicine, from the earliest ages." 

Dr. Wheaton's address: "An ingenious practical treatise on General 

Committee appointed to found a botanical garden and a medical library. 

Note. — A meeting was held in 1802 according to the memory of Dr. Jame3 
Webb. However, his memory was evidently uncertain, he being almost an 
octogenarian. Dr. Webb says the meeting was organized in 1802, when it 
is clear that he was a charter member in 1799. 

Osborne, who lived in New Bern, was elected President at the 1800 
meeting and presided at the 1801 meeting. He must have been very 
zealous in the cause or a good politician, probably both, since he suc- 
ceeded himself in office each year as long as the Society existed. 

Dr. James Webb, of Hillsboro, was born in 1774 and died in 1855. 
He was one of the earliest students at Chapel Hill and graduated at the 
University of Pennsylvania. The Webb family has always been one of 
the most distinguished in the State. Two of my father's brothers, one a 
physician, married daughters of Dr. Webb. Dr. Webb was a charter 
member of the 1799 Society and a member of its Board of Censors 
during its existence. He was also a charter member of our present 
(1849) Society. He was the sole survivor from the earlier Society, 
the only connecting link between the two organizations. Being seventy- 
five years old in 1849, he was soon made an honorary member. He died 
in 1855 at the age of eighty-one, much beloved by both profession and 

I will not weary you with all the details of this most interesting med- 
ical history. Suffice it to say that a review of the proceedings of the 
Society shows that its Fellows were scientific, progressive and alert to 
every interest pertaining to the profession and the welfare of the sick. 

Annual meetings were held in 1799, 1800, 1801, 1802, 1803 and 1804, 
all in Raleigh. At the 1804 meeting it was resolved to hold the next one 
in Chapel Hill, July 5, 1805. No record of this or any further meeting 
can be found. 


They reviewed the history of medicine, offered prizes for essays, dis- 
cussed prevailing diseases, established a botanical garden, library and 
museum, besides doing some important original work. 

They subjected applicants for membership to the ordeal of an exami- 
nation before the Board of Censors. 

They divided the State into Medical Districts and urged that period- 
ical district meetings be held. 

Dr. Calvin Jones was "Secretary of Correspondence" of the Society 
from start to finish. About twenty years later he turned over to the 
University of North Carolina a "museum of artificial and natural curi- 
osities," probably the residue from the Medical Society's collection. 

There is much interesting history about the writings of Dr. Jones 
on vaccination in the Raleigh Register, 1800-1801. Jenner made his 
first announcement regarding vaccination only in 1798. In 1802 Dr. 
Samuel Vierling, of Salem, sent a special messenger and got some 
cowpox virus with instructions how to use it from "a certain Doctor in 

Mr. Marshall Delancey Haywood has written entertainingly of the 
1799-1804 Society in the North Carolina Booklet for January, 1917, 
from which I have drawn freely. 

Going back to original sources for evidence concerning the history of 
the 1799-1804 North Carolina Medical Society, there are only three or 
four, namely: 

1. The Raleigh Register for those years. 

2. The Transactions of our present society, which contain only imper- 

fect accounts of the early Society. 

3. The Medical Repository, found in the Surgeon-General's Library. 

4. Scattered references in tha Medical Journals of that day. 

However, the sum total of these references establishes beyond contro- 
versy not only the existence of the Society, but the high character of 
the men composing it and the progressive nature of the work they did. 

Second Period. 

Our present North Carolina Medical Society dates from 1849. On 
January 27, 1849, certain physicians who were members of the Legisla- 
ture, together with several other physicians, met in the Clerk's Koom 
of the Senate Chamber and, after conferring, issued a call for a State 
Medical Convention. 




Met in Clerk's Room Senate Chamber, January 27, 1849. 

Dr. W. B. Lane, Chairman, Senator from Randolph County. 

Dr. J. S. Erwin, Secretary, Member Legislature from McDowell. 

Dr. W. M. Taylor, Member Legislature from Nash. 

Dr. Jas. E. Williamson. Caswell County. 

Dr. C. E. Johnson, Wake County. 

Dr. W. H. McKee, Wake County. 

The call was published in Raleigh papers February 7, 1849. 

References: Raleigh Register, February 7, 1849. Trans. N. C. Med. Soc. 
1849, p. 3; 1859, p. 20. 

The men making the call for organizing our State Medical Society 
deserve to be gratefully remembered. 

Dr. Lane represented Randolph County in the Legislature more or less 
continuously from 1835 to 1855. At the time the call was made for the 
State Convention he was Senator from Randolph and took an active 
part in the formation of the Society. 

The last three gentlemen were not members of the Legislature and 
will be referred to later. 

Dr. J. S. Erwin, whose picture we show, was a distinguished physician 
and member of the Legislature from McDowell County. 

Among the many well-known kinsmen of Dr. Erwin is Mrs. Dr. R. L. 
Gibbon, who kindly loaned me his picture. 

In looking up the Raleigh Register for February 7, 1849, I find that 
the call for the Medical Convention was made for April 3 ; but it ap- 
pears that it met on April 16, 1849. 



Held in Raleigh, April 16, 1849. 

Dr. F. J. Hill, President; Dr. W. H. McKee, Secretary. 
Physicians present, 25; Counties represented, 8. 

Membership: Delegates — those appointed by Counties; Associate — mem- 
bers of County Societies. 

Organized the North Carolina State 3'edieal Society. 
Adopted Constitution, by-laws and American Code of Ethics. 
Appointed delegates to the National Medical Society. 
Decided to censor Constitution of County Societies. 
Debarred patentees and certifiers of secret remedies. 
Exalted Education, Experience and Character. 


Dr. Frederic J. Hill, of Brunswick County, was elected Chairman of 
the 1849 State Medical Convention. In nominating him Dr. Edmund 
Strudwick moved to make Dr. Hill President. The State Medical Con- 
vention passed a vote of thanks for the impartial and dignified manner 
in which Dr. Hill presided. He would probably have been elected to 
succeed himself, but he asked that he be not nominated since he had not 
been in active practice for many years because of ill health. He sug- 
gested Dr. Edmund Strudwick for the Presidency. 

Dr. Hill was made the first Honorary member of the State Medical 
Society. He was largely responsible for a movement in 1825 which 
culminated in a law in 1839 providing for free schools in every county 
in the State. Hence, Dr. Hill was fittingly called the "Father of Public 

Dr. Hill owned a plantation near Wilmington known as "Orton," 
which now belongs to James Sprunt. It was said to have been and is 
now one of the finest plantations in the South. Mr. Sprunt kindly sent 
me the picture from which the Orton slide is made. 

After a most exhaustive search I have been unable to secure a picture 
of Dr. Hill, but in order that we might have something more by which 
to identify the man who bears such an historic relation to our Society 
I present a photograph of his last resting place. I was enabled to 
secure this picture only through the kindly offices of my friend, Dr. 
W. C. Galloway. 

References: Dr. W. C. Galloway's letter, etc. Trans. N. C. Med. Soc. 
1849. p. 8. 



First Annual Communication, Raleigh, April 3, 1850. 

Dr. Edmund Strudwick, President; Dr. W. H. McKee, Secretary. 

Added — Permanent Members and Honorary Members. 

Only Permanent Members allowed to vote or hold office. 

Memorialized the Legislature tor law authorizing Registration of Mar- 
riages, Births and Deaths. 

(Only Registration of Marriages passed Legislature.) 

Ordered proceedings published in Southern Medical Reports. 

Committee on propriety of establishing a Medical College. 

1. Address, Dr. Thomas N. Cameron, of Cumberland County. 

2. Report, Dr. N. J. Pittman from the American Medical Association. 

Dr. Cameron, of Cumberland, was a charter member, Vice-President, 
and delegate to the American Medical Association, Member of the Com- 
mittee on Medical Colleges. 


It was the custom for the delegates to the National Society to make 
a detailed report to the State Society. Their reports were absorbingly 
interesting and served to keep the profession of the State in touch with 
the work of the American Medical Association and incidentally demon- 
strated the acuteness of the reporter's observation. It might be well to 
return to this good old custom. 

Dr. Edmund Strudwiek, of Hillsboro, was President of the State 
Society during its first and second years. He was a pupil of Dr. James 
Webb. His unceasing devotion to his preceptor is one of the delightful 
memories of the quaint old town of Hillsboro. Strudwiek shaved Dr. 
Webb each morning, never allowing personal inconvenience to interfere. 

It would be easy to consume half the time allotted to this lecture 
eulogizing Dr. Strudwiek. Dr. H. A. Eoyster has written a stirring 
biographical sketch of him. Among his chief characteristics were great 
courage and energy, morally, mentally and physically; also his unfail- 
ing charity as exemplified by his service to the indigent, as well as his 
skill and daring as a surgeon. 

Dr. Strudwiek met an old blind man in the road being led by a boy, 
"And when he saw him he had compassion on him" (Luke 10:35). 
Strudwiek took the blind man to his own home, removed the cataracts 
and kept him until vision was restored in both eyes. 

While riding one night with a doctor who was a dope fiend, Strudwiek 
was thrown from the buggy, sustaining a fracture of the ankle. After 
lying on the ground in the darkness of the night for several hours he 
was taken to the house of the patient whom he was going to see and 
who had a strangulated hernia. Strudwiek was placed on the patient's 
bed and operated on the hernia before allowing his own leg to be set. 

In his Presidential Address Dr. Strudwiek advocated educating the 
public to the value of autopsies. He died at the age of seventy-seven 
from taking an overdose of atropia by mistake. 


Second Annual Meeting. Raleigh. May 21, 1851. 

Dr. Edmund Strudwiek. President; Dr. W. H. McKee, Secretary. 

The Society severely condemned contract practice. 

Resolved that the Society should he migratory. 

Dr. J. E. Williamson says: Old woman in 1816 whose family had typhoid, 
refused to let patients take medicine or he hied. She threw down bushel of ice 
and told the doctor to "cool their bowels." All the cases recovered. 

Dr. C. E. Johnson opposes miasmatic theory of disease. 

Blood-letting the chief therapeutic remedy of the day. 

Memoir of Dr. James Norcom, of Edenton, by Dr. S. S. Satchwell. 


At every meeting of the Society we see striking evidences of the 
sagacity of these pioneers. At the same time, it is refreshing to observe 
that the common sense of an ignorant old woman rebelled against the 
empiricism of our so-called learned profession, refusing both bleeding 
and medicine in typhoid fever and used ice instead. Her name should 
head the list of the hydro-therapeutists of later years. 

According to Dr. Williamson, typhoid mortality was immense in 
Orange County. One entire family died; the neighbors burned the 
house. They surely believed in taking thorough sanitary precautions. 

I will have something further to say about Johnson's address later 
on. In the present hour of the Nation's distress the importance of 
Medical Preparedness is strikingly set forth in a couplet which Johnson 
quotes from Homer as he sang about his beloved Troy and her fall a 
thousand years before the Christian era began : 

"A Physician skilled, our wounds to heal, 
Is more than armies to the public weal." 

Apropos the subject of blood-letting is the memoir of James Norconi, 
by Satchwell. 

Dr. James Norcom was born in 1778 and died in 1850. He graduated 
in medicine at the University of Pennsylvania in his twentieth year. 
He was learned in his profession. Was often sent for in consultation 
from a distance of more than one hundred miles. He possessed a tactus 
eruditus to a remarkable degree. He would not tolerate empiricism or 
quackery. He was kind and courteous to both patient and his profes- 
sional brethren. He was a giant in the profession. 

Dr. Norcom was a private pupil of Benjamin Rush who set the 
standard of medicine during his day. Hence, Norcom was a devotee of 
blood-letting. Rush taught to "bleed as long as you can get blood; if 
you can't g?t blood get water ; if you can't get water get wind." 

Rush bled George Washington to death when he had diphtheria. It 
seems the irony of fate that when his student, James Norcom, fell down 
the steps at the age of s?venty-two his physicians should follow the same 
practice and bleed him to death. I quote from a recent letter written to 
me by Miss Penelope C. Norcom, a granddaughter of Dr. Jamrs Nor- 
com : "While visiting a patient one night, he fell down a flight of 
stairs, striking his head on the post, rendering him unconscious. He 
was bled in both arms — copiously — he never recovered — bled him to 
death !" 

Through the courtesy of Miss Norcom, I came in possession of a let- 
ter written in 1808 by Dr. Benjamin Rush to Dr. Norcom. The next 
slide shows a quotation from this highly prized "scrap of paper": 



The measles are now epidemic in our city. They have been attended with 
but little mortality, chiefly from the practice of blood-letting being so very 
general in the treatment of them, by all our physicians. 

Adieu! From, my dear Sir, your 

Sincere and affectionate friend, 
Philadelphia, May 25, 1S0S. Benj. Rush. 

Note the date of the letter, May 25, 1808. 


Third Annual Meeting, Wilmington, May 11, 1852. 

Dr. James E. Williamson, President; Dr. E. B. Haywood. Secretary. 

Dr. J. H. Dickson's report from the American Medical Association. 

Satchwell opposes Johnson's theory of the origin of disease. 

Says heat, moisture, and vegetable decomposition* cause disease. 

He calls malaria "vigorous agent of death." 

He refers to the existence of pellagra in Rome. 

"Your Committee is forced to believe that a few good, well-endowed, well- 
supported Medical Colleges, independent of favor, will effect far more real 
and substantial good for the science of Medicine than an illimitable number 
of such as your Society have now the means of establishing." 

The report of the Committee on Medical Colleges would do credit to 

Dr. James E. Williamson was born in Caswell County in 1799 ; died 
in 1867. Graduated University of Pennsylvania, 1825, practiced medi- 
cine and surgery 40 years. Made frequent post-graduate trips to 
Philadelphia. "Was a colleague of Dr. Edmund Strudwick. He was 
called an "extremist" for cleanliness and fresh air. Celebrated pre- 
ceptor — eminent surgeon. Charter member and president twice, 1852- 
1853. His picture indicates that he was a prince among men. 



Fourth Annual Meeting. Fayetteville, May 17, 1853. 

Dr. James E. Williamson, President; Dr. W. W. Harris, Secretary. 

Appointed Committees to report on the following: 

Sections: Obstetrics, Surgery, Medicine and Epidemics. 

Subscription for stone in National Monument, Washington. 

Discussed malaria, dysentery, cholera infantum and typhoid. 

L. L. Holmes' address, "Malaria the Cause of Dysentery." 

He urged use of mercury, ipecac, opium and the lancet. 

J. H. Dickson delivered classical address on Respiration. 

*Lancisi theory. 



Filth Annual Meeting, Raleigh, May 9, 1854. 

Dr. J. H. Dickson, President; Dr. S. S. Satchwell, Secretary. 

The Secretary read an extract from a periodical giving an imperfect account 
of the 1799 Society. Their knowledge of the early Society was less complete 
than ours. 

Resolved that ministers dependent upon their salaries should receive pro- 
fessional services for themselves and families gratuitously. 

Dr. J. B. Jones delivered a learned address contending that "nerve matter 
is the medium of relation to many morbid causes, and the seat of a corre- 
sponding number of maladies." He must have had tetanus in his mind. He 
was trying to controvert the humoralist. 

Dr. C. E. Johnson delivered a thirty-page address on malaria. He says: 
"Endemic fevers are natural occurrences and are due to atmospheric disturb- 

Dr. Dickson was President of the State Society twice, in 1854 and 
1855; and was President of the first Board of Examiners, 1859-66. 

He is said to have been the first to perform the operation for club- 
foot, the patient being his own brother. 

He died of yellow fever in 1862. 



Sixth Annual Meeting, Salisbury, May 15, 1855. 

Dr. J. H. Dickson, President; Dr. S. S. Satchwell, Secretary. 

Dr. O. Hadley treats typhoid by venesection and Potasium Iodid. 

Dr. W. H. McKee advised Tine. Ferri for smallpox. 

Also used turpentine enemas for puerperal convulsions. 

Dr. N. J. Pittman reported vesico-vaginal fistula operation. 

He prefers Jabert operation to that of Sims. 

Also delivered address on Auscultation and Percussion. 

Seventh Annual Meeting, Raleigh, May 13, 1856. 

Charles E. Johnson, President; Dr. S. S. Satchwell, Secretary. 

Appropriated $1,200 to establish a State Medical Journal. 

Dr. Johnson was born in 1812 and died in 1876. He was born of 
affluence and high social position. He was gifted with rare mental 
endowments. Graduated from the University of Virginia and the 
University of Pennsylvania before he was twenty-one. Gained great 
reputation as a fever doctor. He was the first Chairman of the Board 
of Directors of the Insane Asylum. Had frequent offers to move to 
New York. Dr. Lewis Sayre sent his own son to Johnson to be treated. 

Dr. Johnson was surgeon-general of the State in the Civil War. He 
established North Carolina Hospitals in Petersburg, Richmond, Weldon, 


Goldsboro and other places. He visited every battlefield in Virginia. 
He was President of the Society twice, 1856 and 1S57. 

Dr. Johnson was a voluminous writer. I hold in my hand a thirty- 
four page address written by him in 1851. Perhaps the greatest thing 
he ever did was to call in question the Lancisi theory of malaria. He 
and Satchwell fought like cats and dogs over this question. In 1852 
he wrote another paper upon this subject which was quite as volumi- 
nous as the one written in 1851. While it is true that the hypothesis 
which he advocated, namely, that malaria is due to atmospheric changes, 
was as erroneous as the Lancisi theory that heat, moisture and decompo- 
sition cause malaria, yet we must take off our hat to the man who dares 
question any theory that has been accepted by the world for more than 
a hundred years. 



Eighth Annual Meeting. Edenton, May 15, 1857. 
Dr. Chas. E. Johnson, President; Dr. W. G. Thomas, Secretary. 
Pittman advocates microscope in diagnosis of cancer. 
Edward Warren opposes Pittman in use of microscope. 
Had heard Velpeau combat microscopists in diagnosing cancer. 
Summerell reports fracture of skull; rock tell 300 feet.; raving delirium; 
lancet, calomel, 30 bushels ice; recovery. 

Satchwell advocates Board of Medical Examiners. 

Board of Medical Examiners unpopular with profession and laity. 

Warren elected Editor of the North Carolina Medical Journal. 

Dr. W. H. McKee was born in 1814 and died April 24, 1875. He was 
not only a charter member, but also signed the call for the 1849 Medi- 
cal Convention and was one of the most active men in the Society. He 
graduated at the University of Pennsylvania and served as interne and 
later as resident physician in Bloekley Hospital. He was a self-educated 
man and a frequent contributor to medical journals and societies. He 
was Grand Master of the Odd Fellows. 

Dr. McKee was Secretary of the !N"orth Carolina Society during its 
first three years and was its President in 185S and 1859. At his death 
he was a member of the Board of Censors. A lustrous feature of his 
character was the high personal and professional status in which he was 
held by his medical brethren. His funeral was one of the most largely 
attended and saddest that ever occurred in Raleigh. He was noted for 
his punctilious regard for the Code and for the courtesies and esprit 
de corps of the profession. 

Reference: Transactions N. C. M. S., 1S75, p. 20. 




Tenth Annual Meeting, Statesville, May 10, 1859. 

Dr. W. H. McKee, President; Dr. W. G. Thomas, Secretary. 

Censored Dr. Warburton Hill tor advertising. 

Elected the first Board of Medical Examiners. 

Memoir of Dr. Armand J. DeRosset of Wilmington. 

Eleventh Annual meeting, Washington, April, I860. 
Dr. N. J. Pittman, President; Dr. W. G. Thomas, Secretary. 
Address by Dr. W. T. Howard, Warrenton, N. C. — "True Utility and Dignity 
of the Profession." 

Edward Warren resigns as Editor N. C. Medical Journal. 
C. E. Johnson and S. S. Satchwell elected Editors. 

Notes on 1859 Meeting. 

Three events worthy of note occurred at the 1859 meeting. 

The first shows the exalted stand taken by the Society; namely, the 
censoring of one of its members for advertising. The next year the 
erring brother apologized and was reinstated. Wouldn't the Fathers 
have a job on their hands were they living in this good day? 

The event of the 1S59 meeting was the election of the first Board of 
Medical Examiners. The enactment of the law providing for the Board 
of Examiners was the greatest triumph this Society has ever scored. 
North Carolina was the first State in the Union to secure such a law. 
Please remember what was said about this matter in connection with 
the 1799 Society. 

I was not present at the 1859 meeting, but something happened that 
year in Randolph County (where I was born) which makes it easy for 
me to remember the year. 

The third item of interest occurring at the 1859 meeting was the 
memoir of Dr. Armand J. DeRosset. The first Dr. A. J. DeRosset was 
of noble blood. He fled from France to America because of religious 
persecution and settled in New London, now Wilmington. He was later 
offered his confiscated estates if he would recant, which he refused to do. 

Our Dr. A. J. DeRosset (second) was born in Wilmington. He was 
educated at Hillsboro, Princeton, and University of Pennsylvania. He 
was a pupil of Rush and a friend of Benjamin Franklin. He was made 
an Honorary Fellow of the North Carolina State Medical Society at 
its first annual meeting. He practiced medicine 69 years, dying in his 
92d year. For 362 years a Dr. DeRosset practiced in Wilmington, and 
for 186 years there was an unbroken succession of physicians in the 
family. A review of the lives of the DeRossets reads like an historical 


Dr. N. J. Pittman's grandfather fled before Cromwell. Pittman was 
born in Halifax County August 9, 1818, and died in 1893. He was 
thoroughly educated and graduated at the University of Pennsylvania 
in 1839. He studied in Paris, Berlin, and London for three years. 
One of the most active Charter Members of the Society. Was President 
in 1860 and President of the Board of Examiners in 1866-1872. He 
was also Vice-President of the American Medical Association and dele- 
gate to the International Medical Congress in London and also delegate 
to the British Medical Congress. He also did numerous successful 
lithotomies. He, with Summerell, E. B. Haywood, W. G. Thomas and 
a number of other professional giants, were all called to their reward 
in the year 1893. 

At this point we will consider briefly the personnel of the first Board 
of Medical Examiners. As you know the Board consisted of : 

Dr. J. H. Dickson, President. 

Dr. C. E. Johnson. 

Dr. W. H. McKee. 

Dr. 0. F. Manson. 

Dr. Christopher Happoldt. 

Dr. J. Graham Tull. 

Dr. Caleb Winslow. 

I have already shown you the pictures of the first three. 

Dr. O. F. Manson, who was a member of the first Board of Medical 
Examiners, was a very superior man intellectually and professionally, 
and lived at Townesville, IT. C. He was of Scotch descent. 

Dr. Manson graduated at the Medical College of Virginia at the age 
of 18 years. Eighteen years later he was elected Professor of Pathology 
and Physiology in his Alma Mater. He resided in Richmond from this 
time to his death in 18S8. 

Dr. Manson was a surgeon in the Confederate Army. Governor 
Vance appointed him in charge of the Moore Hospital for North Caro- 
lina soldiers in Richmond. Governor Vance said of him : "I regard 
Dr. Manson a very superior man intellectually and professionally; as 
a high-toned gentleman, and a man of profound learning, and great 
kindness." Dr. Thomas F. Wood, biographer, classes him with "S. H. 
Dickinson, George B. Wood, and David Drake." He was a voluminous 
writer, and had a large library of literature from both hemispheres. 

References: Transactions N. C. M. S., 1891, p. 233. Physicians and Surgeons 
of the United States, p. 344. 

Dr. Christopher Happoldt, of Morganton, N". C, was also a member 
of the first Board of Medical Examiners. I had more trouble getting 
a photograph of Dr. Happoldt than of any one else. I chased his picture 


all the way from Charleston to Chicago. After many failures Dr. 
Gaston B. Justice, of Marion, secured one for me. Dr. Happoldt was a 
native of South Carolina. He studied medicine in Charleston, France, 
and Germany. He was editor of the Charleston Medical Journal in 
1852. Dr. Happoldt lost his life in 1878 during the yellow fever 
epidemic at Vicksburg, a martyr to science and humanity. 

Dr. J. Graham Tull, a member of the first Board of Medical Ex- 
aminers, was a graduate of the State University and the University of 
Pennsylvania and did post-graduate work in Paris. He practiced in 
Kinston for a short while, moving from there to New Bern, where he 
practiced for twenty-five years. Dr. Tull was a scholarly man and 
was much beloved. 

A biographical sketch in the North Carolina Medical Journal for 
August, 1892, says that Dr. Caleb Winslow was at that time the sole 
surviving member of the original Board of Medical Examiners. He 
was a graduate of Haverford College, Pennsylvania. Later he broke his 
clavicle, which directed his attention to the study of medicine. He 
graduated at the University of Pennsylvania and practiced medicine in 
Hertford, Perquimans County, N. C. 

Dr. Winslow was widely known as a skillful surgeon. His record of 
99 lithotomies with one death was for a long time the best in the world. 
Many years ago he trephined successfully for traumatic epilepsy, 
antedating the modern operation for that trouble. He was the father 
of Dr. Randolph Winslow of Baltimore, Md. 

Dr. Samuel Tredwell Iredell was Secretary of the first Board of 
Medical Examiners, but he was not a member of the Board. 

This slide shows a group picture of the first Board of Examiners, 
and it is the first time a group picture of the Board has ever been 

Dr. Edward Warren was one of the most remarkable characters that 
ever belonged to the North Carolina Medical Society. You will recall 
that the Society in 1856 appropriated $1,200 to establish a Medical 
Journal. I surmise that he induced the Society to give the $1,200. He 
was elected Editor of the Journal and, be it said to his credit, ran it 
very successfully for three years, when he resigned and moved to 

In 1862 Warren was appointed Surgeon-General by Governor Vance 
to succeed Dr. C. E. Johnson. He did a great work. He wrote a book 
during the Civil War entitled "Surgery for Field and Hospital," which 
was adopted as the standard text-book. 


While in Baltimore, he was called as a witness in the ease of Mrs. 
Wharton, who was charged with giving General Ketchuni a fatal dose 
of poison. The opposing lawyer, thinking to confuse Warren, asked 
him if doctors did not sometimes hury their mistakes under the ground. 
Warren replied, "Yes, and sometimes lawyers hang their mistakes above 
the ground." Mrs. Wharton was cleared. 

Warren was a restless fellow, and from Baltimore he went to Egypt. 
While there he operated upon Kassam Pasha, the Minister of War 
under the Khedive, for strangulated hernia. He did this at great 
jeopardy to his own life, but the patient recovered and Warren was 
made Bey. From Egypt he went to Paris, where he became an eye 
specialist. He was made a member of the Legion of Honor of France. 
He wrote a book entitled, "A Doctor's Experience in Three Continents." 

Reference: Transactions N. C. M. S., 1856, p. 16. 

The 1861 Meeting. 

We can imagine something of the feelings of those who met at Mor- 
ganton, May S, 1861, to discuss things medical and surgical. The 
country was full of war and rumors of wars; indeed, the shot that 
opened the bombardment of Fort Sumter and was heard around the 
world had already been fired, April 12, 1861. Governor Ellis had 
authorized the raising of ten regiments. Despite all this the only refer- 
ence in the Transactions to the war was the report of the Committee on 
Nominations, which declined to nominate delegates to the American 
Medical Association. Their feelings must have been somewhat similar 
to ours today. The difference in the situation then and now is that 
their war was a family quarrel; ours is a world-wide struggle of 
democracy against autocracy. 

Notwithstanding a small attendance and the absence of the President, 
Secretary, and Treasurer, the Society proceeded to business as usual 
and must have had a profitable and enjoyable meeting. The reports 
dwelt largely upon the diseases prevailing in the respective counties of 
the essayists. Forty-one members from as many counties were ap- 
pointed to make reports the following year. 

Dr. J. J. Summerell was elected President and the Society adjourned 
to meet in Wilmington in May, 1862. Instead it met in Raleigh, 1866, 
but that's another story, since the Morganton meeting closed the Second 
Period of the North Carolina Medical Society. 

In reviewing the work and men of the early periods of our medical 
history there are many things worthy of our consideration. 

In the first place it is to be noticed that the vision of those early 
fathers was quite as clear and far-sighted as our own. If we have gone 


further in scientific development it is simply because we have stood upon 
the shoulders of the dead past and profited by the wisdom and experi- 
ence of our progenitors. Practically everything that we stand for today 
was inaugurated and practiced by them. 

Among these items are : the value of prolonged pre-collegiate study 
under a preceptor, which is comparable to our first and second years in 
the colleges of today; the restriction of medical schools to those thor- 
oughly equipped; the supreme test of fitness to practice medicine and 
surgery by examination before a duly authorized Board, as shown by 
the Board of Censors in 1799 and Board of Examiners in 1859; the 
importance of interneship and post-graduate study in our own country 
and abroad; the wisdom of doing autopsies, establishing laboratories 
and museums; the encouragement of original investigations; the tre- 
mendous gain to be derived from organized medicine as shown by their 
societies, periodical meetings and division of the State into medical 
districts; and the spread of medical knowledge through legitimate 

They not only stood for all that was good, but they set their faces like 
a stone wall against all that was evil; against quacks and empiricisms; 
against secret remedies and the giving of certificates ; against patentees ; 
against advertising and against contract practice. 

To say of these pioneers that many of their theories and practices 
have been proven to be erroneous, is only to anticipate what posterity 
shall say of us. They lived up to the best lights, the most advanced 
science, of their day. If we are in any sense better than our fathers 
were it is only because "a live dog is better than a dead lion." 

One final word which is not wholly personal. Of the thirty-four 
young medicos who joined the Society with me in 1884 nine are still 
members. There are others present whose fellowship has continued 
longer than thirty-three years. 

Looking backward, the class of 1884, together with those who joined 
just prior to and shortly following that date, cherish the distinction of 
having known personally a number of the Founders of the Society. 
They were our friends, our inspiration and our guide. 

Looking forward, we may confidently expect that some of those 
who join the Society this year will continue their fellowship as long as 
we have. If it be so, and God grant that it may, I doubt not that the 
future historian of the Society sits with us tonight. 

Therefore, it is an interesting thought that of our own knowledge we 
knew the men who founded the North Carolina Medical Society in 
1849, and are tonight looking into the faces of those who will celebrate 
its centennial in 1949. Let us make history of which they need not be 
ashamed ! 

De. James Webb. 

Dr. J. S. Eewin. 

> ?k4m 

Dr. Edmusd Strubwick. 

Dr. James Norcom. 

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Extract From Letter, Dr. RfSH to Dr. Norcom. 

Dr. James E. Williamson. 

Dr. James H. Dickson. 

Dr. E. Johnson. 

Dr. A. J. DeRosset. 

Dr. N. J. PlTTMAX. 

Dr. O. P. Manson. 

Dr. Christopher Happoldt. 

De. J. G. Till. 

Dr. Caleb Winslow. 

Dit. Edward Warren.